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Some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), on Wednesday, said the National Assembly (NASS)’s delay in confirming some nominees for leadership positions across various agencies was undermining governance and the fight against corruption in the country.
The CSOs stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja as part of activities to mark the anti-corruption day.
The groups said the aim of the event was to evaluate the state of Nigeria’s fight against corruption.
Mr. Okeke Anya, Senior Programmes Officer, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said that the failure of the lawmakers to screen and confirm the nominees from the executive was complicating the on-going fight against corruption.
“The above-mentioned failures contribute to the deterioration of public patience and perception about the ability to fight corruption in Nigeria.
“Unless the justice system expedites politically to expose cases and forfeits meaningful amounts of recovered assets; unless the NASS stops the political boycott of key appointments and passes much-needed legislation.
“Unless there is a tangible strategy of the government to damage-control shocking plundering of public resources, public perception on anti-corruption is unlikely to improve,” he said.
Also speaking, Mr. Oche Precious, Executive Director, YES project, said there was a need for the judiciary to prosecute cases of senior public servants.
Precious said that in spite of some acceleration in the rate of repatriation and confiscation of the proceeds of corruption, there were no investigations, prosecutions, and convictions at the highest levels of the political class.
He said that in spite of some evidence, many corrupt politicians and businessmen and women seemed to be above the law.
Mr. Ezenwa Anumnu, member of the Lawyers Network Against Corruption (LAWNAC), said that the 2019 elections should be a wake-up call against the unprecedented rise in insecurity and sliding of rule of law.
Anumnu also said: “more and faster progress needed to be made to curb arms trafficking and organised crime.”
He called for legal provisions in regards to the assets disclosure needed to be respected in full, including the revision of the legal framework “so that sanctions are proportionate and not dissuasive”.
Mr. Uchenna Arisuku, member of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy, and Development (Centre LSD), said as Nigeria heads toward the 2019 elections, there was the need to check the extreme corruption in the political party system.
Arisuku said that the electoral process at all levels needed to be free of political profiteering and manipulation and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should sanction breaches.
He said that the political parties financing was prone to the undue influence of wealthy godfathers who circumvented the rules put in place by the electoral body.
He called on INEC to set up mechanisms of monitoring section 91 of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, that dealt with the maximum limit of election expenses.